Michelle Mason, Ph.D.
Why should you donate to your child's classroom?
Updated: Sep 2, 2019
Recent research shows that teachers buy $500 worth of materials for the students on average every year. To many people, that does not seem like a lot of money, but for teachers, it is a major expense. It always amazes me how the educational system cannot seem to pay for the basics for students.
In a 2014 article, Buzzfeed listed “16 Classroom Supplies You Won’t Believe Teachers Have To Pay For.” This list includes:
· Hand soap and hand sanitizer· Pencils
· Giant Post-It Notes
· Lined paper and notebooks
· Snacks and prizes
· Construction paper
· Maps and other visual aids
· Art supplies
· Chemical-free cleaning wipes
· Safety Scissors
To this list, I would add:
· Whiteboard markers and erasers
· Copy paper
· Printer (I worked in a district where the teachers had to buy their own printers)
· Printer ink (if the teacher buys her own printer, the district will not buy the teacher ink)
This list may surprise you because you have probably recently received a list similar asking you to have your child bring many of these items. While I understand that this may seem annoying and expensive to buy all these materials, it is well worth the time and money to get these items to your child’s teacher.
If the parents can’t or won’t donate, some of these items are paid for by teachers, but many of them are paid for from the school budget. This means that other things in the budget cannot be paid for, such as enrichment activities: music, art, field trips, and even PE. I have worked at schools where parents can afford to donate materials and money, and at schools where the parents cannot. There is definitely a difference between the experiences and activities that children get to take part in when they attend schools where parents donate.
I hope that I have made a good argument that teachers and schools can use some money to spend on materials and experiences for your children. At this point, you are probably wondering how you can help.
Here is how:
· Donate money to the school and classroom.
· If you don’t feel comfortable donating money, donate gift cards for Walmart, Target,
Amazon where teachers can get a lot of materials that would work for their classroom.
· Donate money so the teacher can buy materials on Teachers Pay Teachers.
· Donate regular classroom materials. If you do not know what the teacher needs, I have a
checklist below that you can give to the teacher to fill out.
Please also consider asking your child’s teacher if they need things in the middle of the year. Teachers run out of some things fast!
What do you donate to your child's teachers?